dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-07-23 07:49 am

Kamp Kawkawa and author bias: an essay.

The irritating thing about the bargain-bin copy of PorkyBalls that we're about to see is not that once again, Mike blanks out on two depressingly obvious facts. We know that he's never going to understand or admit that most of the reason that he gets dropped right in it is that he's too stupid to get out of the way of punishment and we also know that he shares the family's tendency to not want to understand that people aren't going to warm up to a dour son of a bitch who thinks that he's better than the people who steer clear of his festering neuroses. The irritating thing is that in her quest to more or less send the message that once again, Elly is punishing her children for being young and requiring the services of parents, Lynn can't see two much better reasons for having Elly make that stupid palms-out pleading gesture when someone asks her why the kids are only finding out about being enrolled in camp the evening before they go and squealing about how they have to do what she says so why consult them?

The first such motive is that we have to deal with the fact that the kitchen and dining area are being expanded and it would be better for everyone concerned if minors were not in the middle of a construction zone. We could have the bog-standard Mike moaning "Aw, MAN!!!" because he doesn't get to shoot himself in the foot with a nail gun, the obligatory defensive gibberish from Elly about how she doesn't have to run ideas by her kids because she's their mother and they don't get to choose where they go and we could proceed from there.

The second rather obvious reason to get the kids out of town for a couple of weeks is to get Mike away from That Boy From THAT Neighbourhood. While she would go on to do this because she confuses a sternly policed slip of a girl whose parents distrust Michael with a calculating gold digger who wants to destroy the Patterson family because she never got over being a wall-flower who couldn't see that her growling about how horrible life was is why her dance card was empty, Elly didn't seem to see fit to punish Gordon for trying to make that spider go pop. We could have Mike incoherently defend his friend from his idiot mother while packing for camp and go on from their. We don't because Lynn has one constant motivation for putting space between John and Elly and their children: Trash Bag Johnny and Flapandhonk are a pair of fragile flowers who simply can't deal with their dull little offsprings and send them away to be brainwashed into thinking that they're dangerous rebels.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-07-18 08:31 am

Onomastic misadventures of the Delicate Genius.

Something odd happened when we were looking at the "Let's melt our brains in a big box" arc. That odd thing is that Mike didn't actually seem to understand that the girl that, for some reason or another, seems to hang around Brian's house like she lived there or some junk had a name. This led to the revelation that he can only seem to remember the names of two people in Liz's social circle: Candace because she gave Liz a hard time and Anthony because he's a dude. Otherwise, they seem to be nameless and irrelevant because, well, of a mental block he's still got: an inability to see little girls as being, well, PEOPLE.

This is furthered by his breezy declaration that he and Brian had to stop Lizzie and the girls from taking over his Fortress Of Dying Of Heat Stroke Because Moving It Into The Shade Also Means That She Wins. Rather than see a person, he looks at Dawn and sees the leading edge of a semi-human horde come to girl up frying their cerebral cortices in a refrigerator box and thus ruining it for everyone. Giving her a name would make her a person and that would mean that Lizzie was one too and that would be awful.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-07-17 07:38 am

The popularity non-paradox and how it eludes the Pattersons.

To plod grimly on from last time, having to remember that most of the reason Mike was attracted to Martha is that they can be sour jerks together is remembering why he was loaded with self-pity in the first place: his angry realization that unlike the other sheep, he seemed to be having a miserable time at the stooopid camp his evil, tyrannical parents had packed him off to because they hate him and fun and life and happiness and, for some reason, love that stoopid, useless GIRL who invaded his home and all the other gloomy crap the dumbass spouts non-stop. No one, you see, seemed to really like him as a person but instead just used him as a source of cheap entertainment. This is because of something that still seems to have eluded the dimwit and been a detriment to his enjoying life.

This thing that The Delicate Genius can never quite seem to realize is that for him to be liked, other people would have to actually want to like him. The first time people took serious notice of him was, I should think, his standing around squealing about unfairness when the camp counselor read him the riot act for lousing up meal time by telling people that they served roadkill. They were enjoying supper up until that jerk Patterson made a nasty little prick of himself for his own horrible amusement. We follow that up with his being squawking annoyance yowling non-stop about the unfairness and cruelty of activities they were trying to enjoy as well as his groaning about how terrible it is that unlike in the movies, people aren't going to praise him for his cleverness and daring in poking his stupid head in the girls' shower any more than they're going to line up and take the fall because he's too stupid to get out of trouble's way. Simply put, no one really notices or cares if he's not around because he makes camp a more oppressive place to live. This fits a general pattern of his being too fucking dumb to notice what he's doing to piss people around him off only to turn around and wonder why they say he's got a bad attitude.

This would be bad enough on its own but since he's an extension of the personality of a woman with the same irritating blind spot, it's sadly obvious that none of the cast realize why they're on the outside looking in socially. It's just that the female characters have help being dimwitted isolates that makes them look more social than the male.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-07-15 08:29 pm

The mystery of Martha: solved.

While I intend to not post headers for strips that feature Mike being a miserable failure as a boyfriend to Martha, I feel that it's only right to ask what it is that pointed her at yet another of the many damaging human beings she's encountered in her life. As we know, Mike had absented himself from a campfire so he could wallow in self-pity about having to be punished for taking yet another stupid dare because the theatrical nitwit never seems to have cottoned on to the fact that if he didn't run around with a bad attitude all the time, people might like him as a person rather than as a source of entertainment.

The reason that I mention this is that this is pretty much what Martha herself was doing. Just as Dawn and Liz struck up a lasting friendship because they were sick of taking crap from loutish older brothers, Martha and Mike started off being repulsed by given the booooring, ordinary old-fashioned names of people they never met and had to be uncool and unfun anyway because they were ooooold. After agreeing that their idiot parents owed it to them to have named them something good like, I dunno, Dweezil and Moon Unit, they compared notes about other things they hated. Too bad for them that they had to have positive things in common. He's too stupid to know what Operation Jealousy looks like and she's too passive to resist the horrible people she keeps running into.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-07-14 06:38 am

On invisible vicious circles.

The irritating thing about having Mike and Lizzie's banishment from the house because Elly is too stupid, emotionally distant and gutless to play referee is having to remember that Lizzie is more excited about going to camp than he is. While she's thrilled by the prospect of going to a camp without having to deal with John and Elly's bullshit about respect and entitlement and so on and so forth, Mike goes into it with the same bad attitude about doing what they tell him to he always has. The problem is that neither of his dimwit parents have any idea why that is or especially want to.

This is because that mutton-headed dolt Elly would have to do something she does not especially care to do: admit that what she says to her children matters. Elly wants to live in a world where her mistakes don't mean anything because children are resilient. She thinks that she should have been able to smack him around because he bothered her while she was being an inept and angry seamstress and he wouldn't grow up to resent her. She thinks that she should have stood around screaming to his face about what a bad child he is and it would just wash off his back. She thinks that she should have played favourites as shamelessly as she did and he'd not feel like the house was a prison and he'd been convicted of not being Lizzie. His resentment fed into her anger which led to his being more resentful and so on and so forth. Since she's not very bright, she's probably telling him to be a smarter parent than she could ever care to be and since he's desperate for any sign that she cared at all, he's dumb enough to listen.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-07-10 09:31 pm

The homework truck: why Elly might not understand peer pressure.

Of course, assuming that Elly simply doesn't like the idea that people who aren't her or people she trusts to make her children adopt her values as a reason for her war against peer pressure requires her to actually understand the problem at all. For all her smugness and refusal to understand how futile, stupid and destructive it is to try to hollow out her thirteen year old daughter Holly and fill her with jaded forty year old, Val Stone at least has the sense to resent the fact that the same sort of skinny little bitches she hated as a kid are still plying their unholy trade. Elly might not see what's actually happening because she has a hard time understanding what's going on right in front of her.

This is where the strip where she archly declared that a math question had the answer "Don't throw things off of overpasses" comes in handy. She is, after all, the author avatar of a woman who's so otherworldly, she cannot and will not see the world of difference between Gordon cackling with malicious delight at the prospect of flash-frying a spider and a dumb animal who can't know right from wrong gobbling it up so it's very possible that she doesn't understand who's to blame for the problem with the shirt. She sure doesn't seem to understand that her children fear and resent her so anything's possible.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-07-09 07:54 am

Peer pressure and Elly: a proposal

As we know, we're about, oh, five years or so from Elly wailing idiotically about how screwed up and wrong Liz is to want to fit in with the crowd and thus reject all the love in her poor mother's great big heart or what the Hell ever stupid excuse ferblondzhet idiot Elly loves to use for making a point of not seeing why it matters to Liz that she not stand out like a dog's prick. We're also about a month away from Elly planning to totally murder Mike's ass for being sweet-talked into sticking his head in the hole in the wall of the girl's shower. In both cases, Elly makes a point of not understanding what peer pressure is and why children fall for it.

While there is the element of Elly's angry refusal to admit that she can't possibly expect to be the only person her children listen to in this world to be considered, we can't really blame it all on her being a sullen wing-nut who thinks that being just one voice that her children can choose to listen to is part of a plot to totally silence and discredit her because of her stupid love of the idea of being a misunderstood and unappreciated martyr. We must also remember that much like her evolutionary replacement Valerie Stone (and the idiot husband she has), she's convinced herself that the problems she had as a teenager disappeared from teen-aged life forever the second she turned twenty. Since she no longer has to deal with the dangerous body language brigade, her children are telling her an absurd lie about how that's still a problem. Since she isn't stopped in the hallway to be ranked out by the popular girls, peer pressure no longer exists. This means that no, John shouldn't have bought Liz new clothes just to fit in and feel better and yes, Mike should get his teeth kicked in because he wanted fit in and get the guys to like him.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-07-08 10:21 am

"Old Woman Yells At Shadow On Wall": Lynn at seventy.

As we all know, people who've lived long enough to be fairly old tend to arrogate to themselves the right to put civility aside. This is why we had Chinnuts interrupt bickering about The Big Fat Sham Wedding to harrumph that since he was in the war and since refugees in war zones had terrible diseases, nothing the people did actually mattered in order to make them feel bad about keeping the old goat up past nine. The reason that I mention this is that Lynn is in her seventies and promises to let her alleged persecutors REALLY have it.

Given that she's a catty annoyance braying about how her evil, cruel, evil lying cruel mother who was cruel and evil and a liar fooled everyone into thinking that she loved her daughter when Lynn alone knows the truth because she's a petty narcissist who needs someone who isn't her to blame for her innate feelings of inadequacy, terrible work ethic, inability to get along with others and blundering headlong into one self-induced crisis to the next NOW, one shudders to imagine the horrible screeching directed at people who had the bad luck to get on the bad side of a raw nerve that mugs for the camera like a child. We seem to have gotten a foretaste of this with her arch simpering about how people who were repulsed by her arc of deliberate cruelty couldn't possibly really care about anything else so we're in for even worse appeals to worse problems, her no longer wanting to walk back from the Heintjes interview of nearly criminal slanderous libel and her insistence that yes, being a cameraman did make Aaron a horror freak who wanted the whole world to see his lovely tableau of a suicide victim twisting in the wind.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-07-07 08:14 am

The shaggy-dog and spider show.

One of the more annoying things that I've encountered over the years is an act of intellectual cowardice from manga artist Rumiko Takahashi as regards the broader implications of her martial arts sociopathic humor festival Ranma Nibunnoichi. When one of the more disturbing problems her "Let's throw bullshit against the wall and see what sticks" approach to tormenting the male lead was raised, she archly declared that she didn't bother thinking things through to their logical conclusion and neither should anyone else. That bothers me because if you put something out there, you're forced to consider the problem and cowering behind Belisario's Maxim is just plain gutless.

This is what I have against this malicious infant Lynn's cackling about how the spider was fated to die so quit worrying and laugh as the dog eats it: Gordon goes unpunished. If Lynn weren't a nasty little kid delighting in being a revolting twit, Elly wouldn't be five seconds away from smacking Mike around and, yeah, Gord would be persona non grata because no one needs to be around a loon who, if this sort of stuff goes on, would graduate to killing people and staging their remains in sick parodies of Mentos ads. (You know....the FRESHMAKER!!!) The problem is that Lynn wanted to kill the spider because it's funny to piss people off.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-07-06 08:35 am

The great big miscalculation.

The odd thing is that when one parses through what Lynn has said about the strip over the last nine years since the Settlepocalypse is that she really does consider the Patterson's story to be essentially over because after years of setbacks and dead ends, Elly got what she really wanted out of life. You would have thought we could have ended it when Mike took over the mortgage to the Pattermanse but that would be wrong. Keeping the house in the family was nice and being able to live vicariously through him felt good but that wasn't what she wanted. Getting April out from underfoot so she could finally have that empty nest she wanted was sort of a good thing but that wasn't Job One either. No, what Elly really wanted was to prove to herself that marrying John wasn't the biggest fucking mistake she'd made in her life and the way that was supposed to happen was to have Liz marry Anthony when they both got out of uni. She'd had to wait a longish while because obstructions to her happiness falsely and criminally kept insisting that they had rights that needed to be taken into consideration but she got what she needed so it made no sense for Lynn to keep telling a story that was over. This would allow Lynn to take up a new career and her loyal fans would gladly follow her along.

The problem, as [livejournal.com profile] aprilp_katje pointed out, is that the people who loved 'Ellie's lovely column' aren't exactly what you'd call Lynn Johnston fans. What they are is Elly Patterson fans. They wanted and still want to see the characters validating their existences by continuing on as they are. People like Therese intimidate them so they need to see her continual humiliation. Teenagers and young people scare the shit out of them because they represent a world that'll keep on spinning after they die so they need to see April get smacked down hard to make themselves feel better about the cruel reality of their own deaths. They're angry people who take out their discontent about having to raise children on children so they need to see Liz act out their need to drop-kick their teeming get off an overpass and laugh the Sticky-Out Tongued Laugh Of Malice at their brats' broken remains because they were mildly inconvenienced. If someone new were to come along and pick things up from the wedding reception and continue on with screaming at children, threatening April with bodily harm for daring to have emotional needs, talking shit about evil career women and the like, they'd gladly follow this new person and praise her lovely column.
dreadedcandiru2: (Royally Peeved Candiru)
2017-07-05 07:49 am

On accidentally revealing motives.

At some point during the arc that leads up to the kids being packed off to summer camp, Brian suggests behaving as if he and Mike had a brain in their heads and simply letting the girls hang out in the box because it's too blasted hot to just stew in the stupid thing being a dog in a manger. Mike would rather not give up something he claimed as his because he would rather not have something happen to him. Said thing is having to be enslaved by that cruel, anti-kid thing Mom and Dad want to torture him with and make him admit that he should never laugh or smile or want to be loved called "common sense."

You see, to an outside observer, Mike is an irrational twit who brings trouble on himself by blaming Lizzie for his mother's idiotic refusal to see that she actually doesn't treat both of them equally and never intended to matters. Said disinterested but sympathetic stranger would see that if Mike would simply let his stupid, self-destructive and irrational grudge go, he'd be a lot happier. The problem is that Mike is a melodramatic half-wit with a persecution complex, a yearning for unearned praise, a belief that he's a lot more important and cool and smart than he really is and an inability to really understand what's going on around him and what people are thinking. He really does think that Liz decided to be born on purpose out of sheer malice and that he's expected to admit that he really is an unwanted burden no one should love and that he really shouldn't have expected to want all the good things that everyone but him is allowed to have. Since people don't actually learn much from history (which explains why there's so much of it), we can expect to slouch uneasily towards an indeterminate future in which he makes showier gestures of post-mortem filial piety just to shove her out of the way because she deserves to be mistreated for wanting to ruin him.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-07-04 07:06 am

On the mischiefmakers.

Since Lynn's muse is quite obviously network television, it seems fairly obvious what Gordon was originally supposed to be: the troublemaker friend who guided poor, dumb innocent Mike into mischief. From dragging him to poorly-researched arcades to convincing him to risk arrest and-or just plain getting shot down in the streets by the police for defying society by wearing a punk rocker costume to blowing up spiders in a microwave, he's Lynn's vision of the Professional Bad Influence. The reason that I mention this is that why he's this says a lot about how Lynn is. To explain why I say this, I'd like to talk about who he's supposed to be: Eddie Haskell from Leave It To Beaver.

As we know, Eddie buttered up any adult in sight shamelessly before dropping Wally and The Beaver right into a mess. What we fail to realize is that while their other saboteur friends were far more destructive than he was, Ward and June hated him like fire while letting the others off with a "get our sons into a mess free" card because only Standards And Practices kept them from saying "Our asses are for sitting, not kissing." It's his transparent phoniness that made him The Bad Friend because the show runners hated his being a blatant fraud. The funny thing about that is that the show-runners also took special care to remind us that Ward and June weren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Ward could be too hasty and June was clearly too damned worried about what the neighbours might think about the daffier trends their kids adopted to really be effective sometimes. These were presented as flaws that hampered their efficiency in dealing with a younger son who never seemed to bother learning from history.

This distinguishes them from Elly and her claims of perfection. Since Elly is now The Best Mother Ever trying to get the Worst Kids Ever into shape, it stands to reason that she be hampered in her quest by an example of Uncaring Parenting. Gord's parents don't love him enough to scream at him all the time about trivialities, deny him reasonable demands out of spite and also to save face, fret endlessly about things she doesn't understand or like, be a brick wall of judgmental malice when he needs encouragement or sympathy and to dismiss his emotional concerns because nothing that happens when a child matters. Yes, since their parenting lacks the perfect absence of actual parenting, he's clearly a demon spawn come to tempt Elly's son away from fealty to someone who works tirelessly against his best interests.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-07-02 08:26 am

Elizabeth: She who anchors Mike to childhood.

As we know, most of the time we're going to be seeing Michael in the next few years, we're going to be seeing an insanely inadequate boyfriend. I refuse point-blank to set up headers that reference his belief that any hindrance to his getting what he wants when he wants from Martha it no matter what the cost to her is actually her playing a game with him. I rebel at his insistence that she expose herself to risks that he shrinks from. I will not sit there and watch him howl about his heart being pulled from his chest and stomped on because she doesn't like being taken for granted and dumps his stupid ass. I cannot and will not deal with his craven need to repay her loyalty by believing the worst of her while still seeing himself as the injured party. I just can't do that.

What I can do is remind us that he's not just a crappy boyfriend. He's also a sullen dimwit who's convinced that he's smarter, cooler and more grown-up than he actually is. Watching a moron twelve year old arrogate to himself the rank of adult because he picked up the wrong message from John's warped remix of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch (the one in which John, having managed to trick himself into believing that fetching Daddy's slippers for a quarter actually did mean that he washed a big-ass car at the age of four so Mike doesn't know what work is) is almost as hilarious as John being an older version of the kid from the Erma Bombeck essay that had her older kid tell her younger one that his walk to the bus stop looked like something out of a sword-and-sorcery picture.

What I can also do is point out that the ridiculous asshole of a teenager spends a lot of time as a sulking infant who thinks that growing up means having the ability to enjoy life removed because his dipshit parents think that if they're caught smiling, their ability to be taken seriously goes zippa-dee-doo-dah. It also delights me to set up threads that point out that the dumb sack of shit is gonna die not getting over the fact that his parents had another child. Even unto the last days, he never wants to admit that she didn't conspire to be born to ruin his life because that would mean something cruel and terrible. Said cruel and terrible thing is not that he's not the center of the fucking universe. Said cruel and terrible thing is that he's cruel and terrible.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-06-30 07:37 am

Windows, milk bags and unanswerable questions.

The irritating thing about the upcoming "Lizzie washes windows the wrong damned way and ends up fearing for her safety" strip is having to remember that Elly always seems to call her mother to scream about how her horrible children have disappointed her. If you're like me, you're going to assume that Marian yearned for the sweet release of Death when Elly phoned because she dreaded having to stifle herself and not ask very good questions because she sort of knew the answers.

First off, Marian had twigged to not being able to ask Elly "Why didn't you tell Lizzie how not to do that chore?" because she'd long ago figured out that her child never quite outgrew the assumption that everyone in the world saw the world precisely as she did. This made Marian afraid because she could foresee something others could not: Elly assuming that "Well, since I wouldn't drink weed killer/play around a river when there's a flood warning/stick a barrette in a wall socket/eat something handed to me by someone who really wanted to see what happened, my child would not either because s/he has my understanding of events" leading to an avoidable calamity.

Secondly, she had long since learned not to ask Elly why she didn't show her how to do the thing because that led to endless whining about how that would mean having to do the chore herself thereby somehow erasing her personality and turning her into a grinning robot without a will of her own who could only care about the unimportant and useless things children wasted their lives with.

Finally, there is one question that was clearly too dangerous to be asked: "Are you setting your children up to fail on purpose just so you can be angry with them because you think that's what being a mother is?" This is because she remembers something that would drive Elly into a big, screaming fit: Elly isn't aware of what she actually believes. Marian knows that Elly assumes sight-unseen that her children are all always-chaotic evil monsters trying to destroy her while at the same time believing herself to be an open-minded parent who believes in the innocence of her children. She can't tell her child that she's a doubleplusgood doublethinker without getting mauled.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-06-29 07:00 pm

Good-bye, troublemaker, Hello, Hormone-attack Kid.....

As we know, Lynn seems to have wanted Gordon to be a Very Bad Influence Indeed on Michael because she can't quite own up to the fact that the moron doesn't need help doing stupid things that aren't in his best interests. The irritating thing is having to remember that aside from his being a mad scientist this coming week, all he really does is reveal that Elly is an ignorant and panicky idiot who doesn't like or trust children much. From assuming sight unseen that a video arcade would HAVE to be a seedy dive to caterwauling about his putting Mike up to do something she convinced herself meant his arrest by getting him to dress up like what pasty little suburban kids thought a punk rocker was, Elly clearly doesn't trust her children not to embarrass her because she cannot allow herself to live in a world where they'd choose wisely without her constant input.

The problem is that this sort of contrast can't last in a world where Mike is a too-damned-young romantic lead. It's fine for what Lynn sees as an easily-influence innocent to be led astray by a hooligan-by-definition because his dad makes less than John does. It's not fine for what she wants us to see as an in-over-his-head kid (only stunted snarker-troll fungus people see him as a repellent failure as a boyfriend) to have the old Gordon as a wingman. What she wants is a clear buffoon to contrast against Mike's confusion and earnestness. The problem is that she doesn't understand men so Gordon ends up looking like the protagonist and Mike the moron stumblebum.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-06-27 07:10 am

Tremble at our unhappy marriage, ye mighty, and despair!!

Now that we're pretty much nine years into the post-Settlepocalypse era, we're beginning to realize why the Hell Lynn has just thrown her hands in the air and decided that she's DONE with the Patterson family and wants very much to do something else. It seems to me that she realizes that if Anthony and Liz's marriage isn't doomed to collapse utterly, they're going to make each other very miserable. I'm not talking about the misery made by Elly and John rushing headlong into marriage without really bothering themselves with the 'trivial' question "Who the Hell am I marrying?" and not dealing at all well with reality. This is a worse misery based on their spending years and years trying to get to where they are now.

We start off with Anthony's mommy issues and daddy issues making him yearn for a place to belong in life warping him into thinking that it doesn't matter who you're fixated on is as a person as long as you're sincere enough in your ardor. Just as he tried to turn Therese into what he thought Liz was, the reality of who Liz really is has probably made him start yearning for the halcyon days wherein Therese brought a certain measure of class into his existence because he's a gloomy asshole who only ever wants what he cannot have. End result: his being desperately unhappy because he tries to lead the frumpy, frightened-of-life lardass with the martyrdom complex he married places that terrify her.

When one combines this with her being a superficial twit who's most in love with the feeling of being in love but not especially in love with the day-to-day crap that also aggravated and bored her idiot mother, we can see that his discontent meets up with a greater discontent of her own. By now, she's probably boring the shit out of whatever friends she has left by whining piteously about how empty her existence is and how her life is all grey and dull. At some point, she's going to alarm someone with an unsubtle hint that if the right man came along, she might bend her vows just a little just to feel like a woman....only to turn around and howl to someone about what's wrong with her that Assthony nailed his secretary because she's pleasant to be around.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-06-26 07:32 am

Protagonist-Centered Martyrdom: The Food Waste Problem.

 As we know, I've no intention of covering any arc or individual strip that has Elly nag her teeming get about wasting food, cooking food for themselves or bitching about their having the good table manners she doesn't have herself. The reason why is the arc we're just about to watch. We start things off with Elly reacting to Lizzie not wanting to eat a hot dog that had the flavour boiled the Hell out of it with her near-standard expression of blind rage. Since the strip is for angry mothers who blame their children for the fact that they were born to resent anything not themselves, we can safely say that most of the idiots who get defensive when it's intimated that most sane people think that Elly is a violently unfit parent want to join her in screaming about the unfairness of an evil law enacted by professional childless people that would penalize Elly for sitting on Lizzie's chest and FORCING her to eat the weenie. We then transition to her acting all superior to her selfish and evil and selfish child by eating the tube of lips and assholes she doesn't want to eat while the other horrible child says that palatability and food should go together because evil children are evil and turn their backs on the love in their mother's great big hearts and want the food they show their love with to actually taste good.

This transitions into the wider scope problem: her turning a blight on society at large into something that only makes her own life worse. For some reason lost to history, Elly was trained to think that emptying her plate was the touchstone of being a loving child while at the same time believing that being 'overweight' meant that no man could or should love her. This means that she has an unhealthy relationship with food that will pretty much never get better. She'll die seeing a plate of left-overs or food tossed away because no one wants it as meaning that she herself is morally defective and should be brutally and publicly murdered for the greater good; what I object to is seeing this sort of self-destructive and insane neurosis being presented as some sort of sacrifice to be admired instead of what it is: a destructive narcissist crucifying herself because her kids don't like her heavy-ass casseroles that make them feel as if they can't move.  
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-06-25 08:07 am

Shadowy Men In A Shadowy Foobiverse.

An interesting thing took place recently that reveals something about Lynn that she might not be aware of and wouldn't delight her to be reminded of if she were; that's because she again used the phrase "shadowy figure" to refer to a character that we knew reasonably well: Steve Nichols. Despite her declaration that he's this vague shape in the background who we don't know well, we know him quite well indeed. We know him to be a bog-standard moron sitcom husband who sits on his fat ass watching sportsball instead of being a 'loving' husband and doing chores. We know him to be a husband making an honest attempt to reassure the flake he married that she shouldn't be put to death because their daughter has six fingered hands. We know him to be less inclined to pea-brained autocracy as a parent. Since we do know him very well, this need to turn him into a vague shape we can't recognize and never could means something.

The hint as to what this retconning him into a cipher might mean is remembering that we were all supposed to agree that another man we knew exceedingly well was suddenly this vague, grey shape only now emerging from the Land Of Wind And Ghosts: Fucking ANTHONY!! Up until that sweeping ultimatum, we knew him to be a sort of larval John who'd upped and married a woman he barely tolerated because he'd sort of given up on his twee fantasy of marrying his high school sweetie and was thus frustrated and felt cheated and so on and so forth. The reason that he and Steve were suddenly Men Without History is that Lynn had decided to let her real life tell their stories. As it will be when Anthony varies between being her and Rod when inviting us to cheer on her affair with Rod during her marriage to Doug, Steve is about to become a vessel for everything she hates about her first husband. Thus the need to make of them unknowable figures whom she has to bring into a vindictive light of never accepting personal responsibility for her actions. Also, if we remember who they were before, we're fungus people who want to swarm her at the playground and make her cry forever. 
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-06-24 05:38 am

On being intentionally unsympathetic.

Well, as I was reminded yesterday, Connie was one half of the "having your cake and eating it too" sandwich Lynn served up when she was plagiarizing Cathy Guisewite. Connie represented Lynn's need to look down on feminists because they represented a threat to her marriage while at the same time using feminist slogans to complain about customs that bothered her. This allowed Elly to complain about being thought of as "female adjunct of an actual (i.e. MALE) human being" while at the same time varying between thrilling at and being disgusted by the allegedly wild life Connie had.

The reason that I mention this is that Annie is the other half of the equation. She started out as a pompous old cow who went out of her way to make Elly feel like a horrible parent when she represented a woman in Lynn Lake who intimidated the shit out of Lynn only to mutate into a different sort of unsympathetic twit who was really asking for the affair she got when she represented some PERSON in Corbeil who had NOISY children and who didn't respect Lynn's career and so on and so forth. While Connie became more sympathetic when she started to talk and act and think more like Elly did, Annie stayed unsympathetic because every social circle needs a friend no one really likes. The sad thing is that Annie doesn't realize that that's her role in Eternity's grand scheme.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
2017-06-23 10:09 am

On the care and feeding of designated heroes.

Of course, it's not just the Pattersons and those luckless enough to marry them that lose out because of glaring character defects. As I type this, I do so in the knowledge that Elly is still convinced that Connie Poirier is some sort of inspirational figure who can stand as an example of courage and triumph over adversity. This is because Elly is rock-stupid and tends to take exaggerated claims at face value.

I find myself being what Lynn would probably refer to as a hating snarker-troll fungus person because unlike Elly, I remember that Connie is defined by the following attributes:
  1. Teeth-grinding stupidity: Despite Elly's belief that Connie is one of the smarter people in her social circle, I can count the clear-headed and rational decisions she's made on the thumbs of one hand. Case in point: her fear of Dirk because he was homely and she'd be blamed for the ugly babies Molly would have.
  2. Stomach-churning vanity: Every damned thing in sight has to be all about her and her needs and any claim to the needs of others is clearly an attempt to beat her to her knees and leave her with nothing.
  3. A horrifying lack of self-awareness: She'll be the first to tell you that she's not some pathetic zombie flinging herself at men because she's a needy freak; it's just that if she doesn't have a man, ANY man, she might as well be dead.
  4. A need to evade personal responsibility: This horror she has of admitting that she makes one stupid and impossible life choice after another forces her to plead the question via an army of straw men.
  5. A concomitant need to hog the credit due to others: This explains her belief that someone else's grandchild is somehow her heir because she pretended that she was a great influence on someone she stupidly alienated.

The horrifying mess that Connie is would naturally appeal to Elly because she too wants to do stupid crap like equating a child wanting to eat a hot dog with actual flavour in with said child wanting to stab her poor mother in the heart and reject her love and so on and so forth owing to a similar discreditable vanity and stupidity. Simply put, they're idiots together banded together to marvel at the stupidity of an even worse and intentionally unsympathetic nitwit housewife.